ICIMOD-UNIDO Regional Validation Workshop on the Establishment of the Himalaya-Hindu Kush Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (HCREEE):

An SE4ALL Centre of Excellence

Dates:  1–2 December 2017
Venue:  ICIMOD Headquarters, Kathmandu, Nepal  

Background 
No other region in South Asia suffers as much from the effects of climate change and the threat of a looming energy crisis as the remote, off-grid, high altitude mountain region of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). Living conditions in the mountains are harsh, and many people are vulnerable and marginalized. Despite strong demand for decentralized sustainable energy solutions in the HKH, especially in off-grid mountain areas, a broad range of barriers, including policy and regulatory obstacles, outdated technology, and a lack of capacity and of finance, have prevented the region from taking full advantage of existing and potential renewable energy sources.

To address these challenges, ICIMOD and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with financial support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), are partnering to establish the Himalaya-Hindukush Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (HCREEE). The proposed ICIMOD centre will operate under the umbrella of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres and represent an innovative fusion of regional and international efforts and capabilities. Its design will leverage a network of intra and extra regional partnerships, serving as a hub for knowledge and technical expertise on matters related to sustainable energy in mountain areas. It is proposed that the centre become a think-tank and regional hub for cross-cutting areas pertaining to three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically, SDG 7, SDG 9, and SDG 13. As such the HCREEE will play a key role in creating economies of scale, and a vibrant sustainable energy business and job sector in mountain regions. The centre could create spill-over effects between countries in the areas of policy and legislation, capacity development, knowledge management, and awareness raising, as well as the promotion of investment, entrepreneurship and innovation. 

In this context, the consultative preparatory process for the HCREEE was launched in July 2016 to determine its feasibility, added value, and technical and institutional design. An international consulting company was commissioned to carry out the needs assessment and required feasibility studies. From 1 to 2 December 2017, ICIMOD and UNIDO, with financial support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), are organizing a validation workshop to gain feedback from regional stakeholders for the finalization of the draft study reports produced by the assigned consultant. The workshop will bring together 40 key regional stakeholders and development partners. 

The workshop aims to discuss and validate the draft needs assessment and feasibility study reports and agree on the roadmap for the establishment and operation of the HCREEE. It is expected that the workshop will contribute to the refinement and validation of the preparatory study reports while providing a strategic roadmap and way forward for the scope of the mandate, and the technical and institutional design of the centre, including a resource mobilization strategy for its sustainability.